Luther: A Sinning Saint? By Courtney Dermody

Martin Luther was a German monk who strongly disagreed with certain views of the Catholic church. In his arguably most famous attempt to stop the corruption of the Catholic church, Luther wrote a many reasons why indulgences were bad and how they did not actually save one's soul from sin. The myth is that Luther, angry with the church, went to the All Saint's Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517 and nailed his 95 Theses (his ideas on how the Catholic church should change) onto the door of the church. This began the Reformation.

St. Antoine Catholic Church

The man who called himself Martin Luther was a sinner. He lied about his upbringing and family history, saying he was the descendant of poor peasants when really his father was a mining inspector and a smelting master; these two jobs were not held by poor people but rather the wealthier of the town.

From a young age, Luther rallied against monasticism (a religious way of life that a monk lives) and all throughout his teen years until he suddenly went against his father's beliefs and surprisingly became a monk. This doesn't necessarily make him a sinner, but the fact that he passionately went against monks, their way of life and hated on them for so many years, stopping at nothing to go against them and speaking his mind, makes him one.

Luther was also a man of no mercy. He was relentless; he would stop at nothing to make sure his reformation happened. This attitude helped get him into some trouble when he was faced with rebellion by Catholics. He stopped at nothing and readily killed anyone in his way. These qualities are not those of a saint, and that is why Luther is a sinner.

By nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the All Saint's Church, Luther made a statement that the time was now to create the change. These pictures show this attitude and how he was willing to do what it takes to make the changes that were needed and to stop the corruption of the Church. In each statue, his head is up and facing away which could have been purposeful by the sculptor to show how he was always looking up and how he was "ahead of his times". Without Luther's 95 Thesis, the Catholic Church, and all of its many branches, would not exist today.

Luther was a saint because he wanted to reform the Catholic church to make it better. By suggesting his 95 Theses, he provided many ideas to improve the church and not just himself. These suggestions were taken into consideration, and although they may have not been passed, Luther was a saint because he stood up for his beliefs and fought for them. His intentions were not to start the fifty-year revolt that started, but rather spark an debate about the church's corruption and power. Luther's 95 Thesis were successful in getting the people talking about what he wanted them to talk about: the Church's "sins".

Martin Luther also translated the Bible from Latin into vernacular so everyone could read it. People of all ages now had access to all of the stories. The translated version also gave the people the opportunity to interpret the Bible as they pleased and develop their own ideas, even if it went against what the priest was preaching.

Luther also wanted to promote the Bible and show Christians that the Bible was the only true source of God's teachings. Now that the Bible was in vernacular, everyone could read it. They no longer had to listen to the Pope and priests who were not reliable, according to Luther. This helped spread the Catholic beliefs even more. Luther was a saint because he wanted each individual to interpret the Bible as they saw fit, and not to listen to the gross, sloppy, and greedy priests.

Luther wasn't afraid to share his beliefs. He wanted to educate the public and help the Church out of it's corruption.
Luther was a very smart man who knew what he wanted to do and knew how he was going to do it. This attitude helped him change the Catholic church for the better (in his eyes).
After Luther started the Reformation by nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the church, many other people realized they agreed with him and joined the "bandwagon" of helping to change the Church's state of corruption.

Credits:

Created with images by akk_rus - "St Antoine Catholic Church" • dbking - "Martin Luther" • katermikesch - "martin luther protestant reformation"

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